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VTMAS No. 80: I’m THAT Friend

[Sorry, it’s been a while, here we go~!]

I’ve come to realize that I’m THAT friend. Yes, the one you can’t take out in public without something weird or embarrassing unfolding. Granted, in my defense, it’s not intentional but at times it may seem like self sabotage. It happens enough times, that it definitely impacts my ability to make a decision on the second instance it may happen, which leads me to a double-hitter for this VTMAS.

My friends are very aware that I enjoy going out to eat with them. Nothing is better than hitting up one of my many favorite food places in the company of my friends. It was Tuesday… Taco Tuesday… which meant I wanted to hit Tijuana Flats for cheap Tex-Mex. I had my author friend, Kim Plasket, riding along with me and we met my high school friend Jen and Jessica there.

Waiting on our order, I was losing myself to Queso and chips. I love their Queso there, always order a round along with my notorious Blackened Chicken with Black beans, Lettuce, Tomato, Sour Cream and Cheese Hard Tacos. EVERY TIME. At this point, I was listening to the conversation unfolding between my three friends when my chip failed me.

A warm gooey sensation hit my skin and I realized a large gob of Queso had fell from my chip. I stuffed the chip in my mouth and glared down. Now, I am a chunky gal, and thus I have boobs and depending on my shirt, well, cleavage exposure is inevitable. Peering down at the girls, there it was. A big yellow glob sitting on Righty but it hadn’t touched the bra or my shirt.

I can salvage this! Where’s the bathroom! Looking around, I realize it was on the opposite side of the restaurant. No! If I try to walk that far she’ll bounce cheese everywhere. Maybe I could…

My eyes looked to Kim, to Jen, to Jessica, then took in the near empty restaurant. Looking down at the cheese starting to slide towards Lefty, I had to act fast. No one was paying attention to me. I grabbed a bunch of napkins, still no one looked in my direction.

Ok, no one’s looking. The guy at the high top isn’t even facing this way, I can do this without anyone ever noticing.

With a fist full of napkins, my hand dove between the girls, desperate to save my shirt and bra from yellow inner cheese smudge. It was proving difficult, I had to be quick and aggressive to limit Queso damage. Almost had it all, one more wipe should do it…

“VALERIE!” Kim’s voice made my hand jerk out of my cleavage. “Get your hand out of there!”

And without missing a beat, I said the only thing that came to mind, “It’s my cookie jar!”

Everyone’s face turned red. My eyes panned to the side and there the man was choking on his food staring at me.

In a tiny voice, I mumbled, “I had Queso on my boob…”

We still laugh about this, but here it was two weeks later and I am headed to Daytona, FL for an event. Along for the ride were authors Arielle Haughee, Paige Lavoie, and Writer’s Atelier’s mastermind Racquel Henry. Finishing the event at the museum, we decided to eat dinner before the long drive back to the Orlando, FL area.

I was starving and much to my delight we were eating at Cheddar’s, another favorite of mine. On the menu, I decided to me a little selfish and grab the chicken and rib combo. We’re chit-chatting, consuming our food and it was spot on. I was tearing into the ribs, the meat falling off the bone… which is where it all went wrong.

Leaning forward, I brought the rib to my mouth, the meat starting to slide of the bone. My lips parted, my tongue ready for the explosion of saucy meaty goodness when, much to my horror, the two-bite worth’s of meat fell off the bone.

In slow motion, I watched in horror. They meat lodged itself between the girls. I glared at it and then set the now empty bone in my plate. It was like a tree trunk growing out of two fleshy boulders.

Oh my god, you can see it sticking out of my shirt. My face was turning red, not again. This is Tijuana Flats all over again. CRAP! The bathroom is on the other side! WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME AGAIN! Wait, can I even attempt the napkins here? Maybe I should just leave it…

This was the moment I looked up, realizing the silence at me table. Everyone had laid down their silverware, leaning forward with eyes wide.

“Did, did a piece of rib just fall in your boobs?” Paige asked in disbelief.

“Y-yea.” I confessed, taking in the shocked and mortified expressions staring at the log sticking out of my girls.

“Oh Val.” Racquel leaned in, whispering. “What are you going to do? Go to the bathroom?”

“Eh…” Arielle winced. “I don’t know, those ribs were covered in sauce, that might get messy.”

“It didn’t get my shirt…” Sighing, I looked down. “But the girls bounce too much for me to make it to the bathroom without making a bigger mess.”

“What, what are you going to do?” Racquel sat back, gauging the bathroom’s distance.

“I’m just gonna leave it there as a snack for my husband later.” We lost it, our outburst of laughter catching the rest of the restaurant’s attention. “I’m sure he’ll be excited about that.”

“Valerie!” They all exclaimed, blushing.

“I just went through this. Excuse me as I dive in here and pull it out, then make a run to the bathroom to clean up.”

With skilled speed, I pulled the rib out of the boobs and popped it in my mouth. Grabbing a napkin, I shoved it between the girls and dashed to the bathroom. Not only did I not get barbecue sauce on my shirt, but I didn’t waste my food. I slid back in my seat with a sigh and they all seemed to be giggling and shaking their heads at me.

“Only Valerie.” Paige chuckled.

“I would have been mortified.” Racquel blushed, trying to fathom being in my situation.

“It happens.” I shrugged, “I need to wear a shirt with a safety net when I go out to eat from now on.”

Another round of laughs. I apologized for any embarrassment it cause, but I had come to terms that the moment teh meat had hit the boobs, it was unavoidable and laughter was the best course of action.

But, I also realized, I AM THAT FRIEND. The one who runs a risk of embarrassing my friends in public from time to time. SORRY GUYS!

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